Saturday, 9 January 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 30: Sat Jan 30

No1: Velvet Goldmine (Haynes, 1998): Rio Cinema, 11.30pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Rio Cinema's late-night season. Full details here.

Time Out review:
This witty, evocative re-creation of the heady days of glam rock is loosely structured on the lines of a Citizen Kane-style flashback narrative, with a journalist (Christian Bale) sent back from New York to Britain to investigate, ten years on, the disappearance of Bowie-like star Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) after an on-stage assassination is revealed to have been a publicity stunt. Partly a film à clef which retranslates real-life events and personalities into a dazzling fiction, partly an unsentimental celebration of an era of (potential) pan-sexual liberation (complete with unexpected but fitting tribute to Oscar Wilde), and partly a typically Todd Haynesian study of transgression, identity and the gulf between private and public image, it's superbly shot, edited and performed, and exhilaratingly inventive throughout.
Geoff Andrew

Here are the opening credits.

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No2: British Sounds (Godard, 1969): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 3.50pm



This film (35mm) screens with another provocative 1969 work 'Pravda' as part of the Jean-Luc Godard season that runs from January through to March and the double-bill is also being shown on January 25th. You can find the full details here.

Time Out review:
The film that was made for and then banned from London Weekend TV. Essentially a documentary, it's a genuine political artefact in which Godard contrives to assault the British sensibility with a series of images and provocations (the slogans flashed on the screen are sometimes humorous and always to the point). The parts where people just talk really work; when Ford Dagenham workers discuss the company-employee situation, the effect is simple and uncluttered but devastatingly effective. Sometimes, however, the control vanishes - the sequence with Essex students making posters, for instance - and this confirms the impression that revolution in Britain will only come from the industrial army who need it, not the middle class academics who play it.

Here is an extract.

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